15:0445(91)AR - Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia and Tidewater Virginia FEMT Council -- 1984 FLRAdec AR

[ v15 p445 ]
The decision of the Authority follows:

 15 FLRA No. 91
                                            Case No. O-AR-490
    This matter is before the Authority on an exception to the award of
 Arbitrator Robert W. Foster filed by the Department of the Navy (the
 Agency) under section 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor-Management
 Relations Statute and part 2425 of the Authority's Rules and
    The dispute before the arbitrator in this matter concerned a claim
 for overtime pay for standby time.  The grievant was assigned to repair
 a generator on an isolated, uninhabited island in Chesapeake Bay with
 transportation to and from the island to be provided by helicopter.  The
 Activity estimated that the work would take 20 regular work hours and
 assigned the grievant to the island for a three-day period.  Since there
 was no means of leaving the island after completion of each day's work,
 it was necessary for the grievant to stay on the island until he was
 picked up on the third day.  The Activity authorized overtime pay for
 any actual generator repair work that might be needed in addition to the
 estimated regular hours, but refused the grievant's request for overtime
 pay for eight hours of standby time for each day on the island.  The
 grievant filed a grievance and proceeded to perform the assigned work.
 The dispute subsequently was submitted to arbitration.
    The Arbitrator rejected the Activity's contention that since standby
 duty was neither ordered nor authorized the grievant was not in a
 standby status while assigned to the island.  The Arbitrator determined
 that employees are entitled to standby pay for periods they are confined
 to an area and are subject to being called upon to perform work.  The
 Arbitrator found that employees on assignments similar to the grievant's
 had been paid for standby time in the past and that while the Activity
 may not have intended to require the grievant to be on standby, the
 practical effect of the assignment was that he was compelled to remain
 on the island when not performing actual work, ready to perform work
 when the need arose or when called.  The Arbitrator concluded that the
 grievant was entitled to compensation for standby time and therefore
 directed the Activity to pay the grievant for eight hours of standby
 time at the overtime rate for each 24-hour period he was on the island.
    In its exception, the Agency contends, among other things,